92 N.W.2d 295 (Mich. 1958), 21, Carr v. Kalamazoo Vegetable Parchment Co.
|Citation:||92 N.W.2d 295, 354 Mich. 327|
|Opinion Judge:||[354 Mich. 331] BLACK, Justice.|
|Party Name:||James CARR, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. KALAMAZOO VEGETABLE PARCHMENT COMPANY, a Michigan corporation, Defendant and Appellee.|
|Attorney:||[354 Mich. 328] Ford, Kriekard & Brown, by Gordon H. Kriekard, Kalamazoo, for appellant. Sharpe, Stapleton, Huff, Adams & Burgie, by John S. Adams, Kalamazoo, for appellee.|
|Judge Panel:||Before the Entire Bench.|
|Case Date:||October 13, 1958|
|Court:||Supreme Court of Michigan|
I cannot agree with my Brother. His opinion does not touch the initial and, as I believe, decisive question posed below on motion to dismiss. That question is whether--accepting the well-pleaded allegations of plaintiff's declaration as true--the arbitrator was possessed of authority to determine anything over and beyond the submitted issue of unjust discharge.
Nothing is better settled, in the legal area of common law and statutory arbitration, than that the award must conform to the submission and that it may cover no matters outside the submission (3 Am.Jur., Arbitration and Award, §§ 122, 123, pp. 945, 946). The reason stems from a universal holding--'that the arbitrator derives his power solely from the agreement between the parties.' (Acme Cut [354 Mich. 332] Stone Co. v. New Center Development Corp., 281 Mich. 32, 35, 274 N.W. 700, 704, 112 A.L.R. 865). Here the arbitrator assumed to determine that which the shop contract has settled, that is, plaintiff's right to back pay should his discharge be found 'unjust'. He--the arbitator--had no right to do so. It follows that the arbitrator's readily severable appendage (denying back pay) must be regarded as a nullity.
An arbitrator is not a chancellor. He possesses no equitable powers excepting as the submission may expressly grant such. He is in no position to mollify, qualify, or straddle, and he had no right to dictate specific types of relief outside the scope of the submitted issue or issues, once he has decided the latter.
In this case the plaintiff employee declares on a lawful provision of a shop contract reading: 'If the employee is proved to have been unjustly discharged, he shall be reinstated with full seniority and shall receive pay for all time lost from work.' As previously indicated, such contract assures the discharged employee all seniority rights, and back pay, once it has been found by the provided...
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